New photos of the ongoing effusive eruption at La Soufriere in St Vincent and the Grenadines have been shared by the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO).
NEMO says the team made it to the summit of the volcano this morning and shared some photos of the growing dome today.
It says the scientific team will provide estimated size and volume once all satellite and drone footage has been analysed.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves is appealing to citizens to take the COVID-19 vaccine in light of the ongoing volcanic activity on the island.
He made the appeal during last night’s ‘Eyeing La Soufriere’ North Leeward virtual meeting. Gonsalves said St Vincent needs population immunity in case there is an explosive eruption and persons need to evacuate and be in close quarters.
He said: “If we have to evacuate and go in a shelter, it is far better for you to have the vaccine than not to have it.”
St Vincent and the Grenadines recently received a donation of 40,000 doses of the vaccine Covishield from the Government of India.
Sticking to the topic of La Soufriere, the prime minister said there is no imminent threat of an explosive eruption of the volcano, however if ‘worse is to come’ SVG is preparing itself as country and citizens should also have a family plan.
“Have some things packed and ready at hand to get to the shelters,” said Gonsalves.
In terms of North Leeward, the prime minister said there are several points on the road and by sea for the evacuation of the public.
He noted that if there is an explosive eruption, St Vincent and the Grenadines has places with shelters, schools, guest houses, hotels and even places external to the island.
Contact has also been made with other prime ministers in the Region for arrangements.
Gonsalves recalled that in the last eruption of 1979, between 16,000 to 20,000 people had to be evacuated from the North East and North West and believes this might be the present number should an evacuation occur again due to an explosive eruption.
The St Vincent PM also cautioned citizens against going to visit the summit of the volcano, as he noted there are one or two persons who may not be listening to the scientists.
“If the experts tell you, it is highly dangerous to not go up there then we have to accept that. We have to be mature about this and it is our responsibility to bring such persons on the straight and narrow path,” said Gonsalves.
Farmers’ concerns about the welfare of their livestock during a possible explosive eruption was also addressed. The prime minister said in the rural areas where there are sheep, goat and cattle there are arrangements to tag the animals.
He said if there was a certain scenario the animals could be let loose to increase their chances of survival instead of being tied.